SHAKEN FOR GOOD 4/4/21 Easter

A non-Alaskan native was preaching in a little church in that state when an earthquake hit. “The earth heaved for a moment that seemed forever,” he wrote. “The little church shook. But the Alaskans sat there like it was another day at the office. Their only response was the woman who said, ‘How about that, the light fixtures didn’t fall this time.’” The pastor ended his sermon immediately. He was… Read More »SHAKEN FOR GOOD 4/4/21 Easter

WHAT A WEEK! 3/28/21 Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday gives emotional or spiritual whiplash. In the church year, which is not the same as the calendar year, since the church year starts with Advent, usually the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Sunday before Easter is commemorated as both Palm and Passion Sunday. If you were to encompass both ends of this week in one sentence, Jesus entered Jerusalem to cheers and adulation, but by the end of the… Read More »WHAT A WEEK! 3/28/21 Palm Sunday


Jesus and the disciples are traveling when they notice a blind man. This was apparently someone known in the community and known to the disciples, because they are aware he’s been blind from birth. On seeing him, the disciples ask the obvious to them question, “Who sinned, he or his parents?” Not an obvious question for us of course. Can you imagine living in a world where and when a… Read More »JESUS POWER 3/21/21


We’re familiar with John 3:16, being probably the best-known verse in the Bible. “For God so loved the world that God gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” There are two halves to this verse. Perhaps folks can be divided a bit on which half they focus on. Some read the first part—God so loved the WORLD—and take… Read More »IT’S SIMPLE—LOVE! 3/14/21


Things can go wrong at church. Well, things go wrong everywhere, to be sure, but when things go wrong in a church, the occasion can magnify the experience. When I officiated a wedding, one time a groomsman locked his knees and passed out. At another wedding, while trying to light the unity candle, the bride dropped her candle on the open Bible. A Bible going up in flames is not… Read More »UNPLANNED DOESN’T EQUAL UNDONE 3/7/21


There are few things as touchy as how much we are paid. In many workplaces, it’s verboten to talk about your salary, so people don’t make comparisons. Have you ever filled out a survey where you’re asked about your income range? Maybe it’s for the new coffeemaker warranty you bought. “Seriously?! Who are they to ask that?” is our response. Of course, it’s none of their business. Our income is… Read More »EQUAL IN WHAT MATTERS 2/28/21


It is possible to feel more than one emotion at a time. I can be frustrated at Diego our cat for jumping up again on a counter he has no business being on and been told that many times while impressed he could get up that high. Only one of my two emotions may be expressed in my words of frustration, but I can feel both. We’re used to juggling… Read More »NOT AS IT APPEARS 2/21/21


Some of you will remember the TV show The Twilight Zone. One episode was titled “A Nice Place to Visit” and told the story of a thief named Rocky Valentine, shot by the police during a robbery. When Rocky comes to, he finds himself in a beautiful penthouse where he has everything he ever wanted. His closet is filled with perfectly-fitting, expensive clothes. Drawers are filled with more cash than… Read More »PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT 2/14/21


We know the idea that cleanliness is next to godliness. It turns out that John Wesley, Methodist Church founder, was the first person recorded saying that in a sermon back in 1778. The idea however goes way back to ancient times. You can see that in our scripture reading. Over time, it had become the norm for Jews to wash their hands before eating. So, for them, in this case… Read More »CLEANLINESS OR GODLINESS 2/7/21


This morning we have read two of the best-known stories of the Bible—the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water. It’s a double feature. It’s like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind, back to back. It’s like The Sound of Music and West Side Story; it’s tough to do them justice. Right before what we read, news of John the Baptizer’s death reaches Jesus. His reaction is to take a boat to… Read More »KEEP THE FAITH 1/31/21